Honda CR-V (2002 – 2006) Review

Honda CR-V (2002 – 2006) At A Glance


+Low-down pull from refined chain cam engines. Walk-through cabin on CVT auto models. Large boot can be increased by sliding the rear seats forward. Lasting very well.

-No diesel until 2005. Petrol more reliable than diesel. Original-fit Bridgestone tyres on 2.2 diesel wear quickly.

On average it achieves 92% of the official MPG figure

The RAV4 started the UK Sports Utility Vehicle thing back in June 1994. Then sprouted an extra pair of doors making it even more practical in June 1995. But the Honda CR-V was an honourable second onto the scene, beating the LandRover Freelander to the market by 6 months in June 1997, and coming in at £2,000 cheaper. It caught the public imagination of what a family car should really be, was an instant hit, and has remained so ever since.

There have been many other more recent pretenders to the throne. Most notably the excellent Nissan X-Trail, which is much better off road. More recently, the Mitsubishi Outlander sneaked onto the scene. While Hyundai and KIA surprised everyone with the grippy handling Tucson and Sportage. Ford/Mazda had a go too with the all-independent Maverick II/Tribute. Imagewise at least, the current Jeep Cherokee is also a contender. While the bigger Hyundai Santa Fe, KIA Sportage, Hyundai Terracan and Ssangyong Rexton are all in the same price range.

Honda went back to the drawing board and launched the current shape CR-V in early 2002. And now, using the opportunity of its new 2.2 litre diesel engine, has refreshed that design for 2005.

Outside it has a new front grille, new headlamps, new pedestrian friendly front bumper and new wheel-arch protectors. Inside, there are improvements to the instruments and trim. And underneath the suspension has been sorted out to give better handling.

Honda CR-V 2002 Road Test

Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi 2005 Road Test 

Real MPG average for a Honda CR-V (2002 – 2006)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–50 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Can I swap wheels from one car to another?
"Can you swap the wheels on a 2002 Honda CR-V to a 2005 model and visa versa?"
The tyres (size, style, bolt pattern etc) on these models will vary between different trims/variants and you haven't given us enough info to help. That said, even with that info, when it comes to swapping car wheels from one model to another, it isn't a very simple process. Wheels are anything but a one-size-fits-all proposition. Instead, they come in a massive array of different styles, sizes, bolt patterns, load capacity and offsets. You need to understand these variations to figure out which wheels will fit your vehicle. In addition to getting all these variations right, you must make sure that the new wheels don't interfere with the brakes or suspension either. Getting all this right can be a difficult process, so I'd advise contacting a tyre retailer or Honda themselves. It may be a simple swap, but we don't know I'm afraid.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Is a lit engine warning light an MoT failure?
"I have a 2003 Honda CR-V petrol auto, which has covered 170,000 miles. For the past two years the engine management light has been lit an increasing amount, and for some months is permanently on whilst driving. I have had this checked several times at my local garage, who have found various error codes, but no consistent fault, so no remedial work has been done. Will the car fail its next MOT because of this? "
The engine warning light is usually Major failure point on the MoT, but some older cars are exempt from this rule. For example, diesels that were registered before 1 July 2008 and petrols that were registered before 1 July 2003 are exempt from this part of the MoT test.
Answered by Dan Powell
I was offered a very low trade-in value for my car - is this a common dealer practice?
"I visited a main dealer to have some work done on the front brakes of my 2006 CR-V, which has done 113,00 miles with a Full Main Dealer service history. Whilst there, I asked the mileage on a 2010 CR-V with a similar spec to my car and was persuaded to have a test drive. I needed to bring my car back today to complete the work, so the salesman said he would 'put together a deal' taking my car in part exchange against the car I had test driven. This included the usual rubbish about the 'must have options' like fancy polish and treatment to the seats at £499 (inflating the price to £12,500 from £10,999), with a value of £430 on my car - which is the price of a set tyres or thereabouts. Mine has a set of almost new Goodyears whereas theirs has four odd tyres of all different makes. Is this how main dealers behave towards potential customers in you experience? I found eight similar cars to mine for sale online at ten times the dealer's offer. We all have to make a living, but this is ridiculous. Is this practice widespread?"
A lot of salesmen try it on like this because of the stupid way they are employed in the UK on a very low basic salary that is only made up by commission. That's what makes them either greedy or desperate for money.
Answered by Honest John
What is the whining noise I hear when I brake?
"I hear a random whine coming from the rear of my 2006 Honda CR-V about once every journey. It lasts about 10 minutes and then goes away. When brakes are applied, it starts and then comes back when released. It's less audible as the car slows down, and dropping the clutch makes no difference. The brake pads look even and sliders are free. Could it be the pads sticking in the callipers or vibrating onto the disc?"
From what you're describing, we would suspect the rear brakes. I'd suggest a strip down and complete inspection.
Answered by Alan Ross
More Questions

What does a Honda CR-V (2002 – 2006) cost?